Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A few extras from Canon-Mac's win

I'm happy to report several things.

One, Mr. Gyros in Washington, located down the street from our building and under new ownership, is still every bit as awesome as it used to be. Grabbed a spicy gyro there for lunch today while working a day shift. Also grabbed Mrs. Varsity Letters some falafel ... just to make sure I'm not swatted at when I tell her where I ate today.

Two, it's hockey time here. With just two basketball teams left -- McGuffey girls and South Fayette boys both open the PIAA playoffs Friday -- I have more time to write about Canon-Mac and Peters Township hockey. (That and postseason/preseason stuff transitioning from winter to spring.)

The Big Macs earned a 3-0 win last night over Butler, which you can read about here. Ryan Christian made 20 stops, Austin and Anthony Tonkovich each had points, and Canon-McMillan won the special teams battle.

Still, head coach Yuri Krivokhija was none too pleased. While waiting for postgame interviews outside of Canon-McMillan's locker room this much was glaringly obvious -- and the majority of those comments aren't even close to printable.

I asked a few of the players what Krivokhija, who apparently left the building while I was interviewing Butler's coach, was so upset about.

"He's a perfectionist," Christian explained. "He thought that the game was too close, and he's right. If we come out and play the game we play today against North Allegheny or any of those higher-seeded teams, we're going to lose. It's understandable that he'd be upset about that. He wants a Penguins Cup. We want a Penguins Cup. We just have to play better next game. Can't get by playing at this level."

I guess one of the things feeding into this was that Canon-McMillan beat Butler, 8-0, on Feb. 25.

"I don't think anyone was thinking about that game," Austin Tonkovich said. "I think they were thinking that this is a new team, they want to come in here and beat us just as bad as we want to beat them again."

After talking to another area coach this morning, I learned that apparently Butler has altered its style a bit, to essentially pack players around the net, give up good-but-not-great shots and hope it stays close. This is what the Golden Tornadoes did last night, and it worked.

"Part of that was to save our legs, to ultimately weather the storm," Butler coach Michael Guenter said. "The chances were there. The bounces just didn't go our way."

Canon-Mac (12-6-4) is seeded seventh in the Class AAA Penguins Cup draw and will learn its quarterfinal round opponent tonight; if all goes according to chalk, the Big Macs will get No. 2 Bethel Park (16-5).

I'm currently working on a Thursday story about top-seeded Peters Township. Will post some extras on the blog.

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